top of page

Pacific-slope flycatcher

Empidonax difficilis

Video Credit: Henry Zylstra Trail Cam

Audio Credit: Amanda Sparkman

These flycatchers have the typical boxy heads of their family; the plumage is rather modestly brownish-yellow on the back, and their bellies are a light yellow.  You may not notice them unless you are looking carefully, but once you do, you will see and hear them all over campus. Listen for their clear, fast, two-syllable “sooo-weet!” call high in the trees.


Pacific-slope Flycatcher


First sign of summer soon to come, 
your whistling, welcoming warmth 
bids winter a last farewell. 
Reminder of lazy days resuming rule, 
PeeWEET!  How can boundless voice be 
contained in such small bodies? 
So outspoken, but so 
hidden, feathers yellow-green 
camouflage you into the trees. 
Crests flare and tails twitch as 
your tiny black eyes, rimmed with white 
watch me from between the leaves, 
as I train and strain my eyes. 
So many of you, one of me, 
somehow sheltered while flying free. 

bottom of page